Craft brews grab spotlight at ‘Jolly Skull’ festival

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Jones County brewery sees huge growth in specialty beers

(Click on image to enlarge)

(Click on image to enlarge)

By Jeff Aydelette | Staff Writer

GREENVILLE — Rhyan Jones, left, a disc jockey with WSFL 106.5 Radio, hobnobs Saturday afternoon with Bob Metzger of The County Compass newspaper. The two promoters, seen here outside the Greenville Convention Center, said they were pleased with the blockbuster turnout for the Jolly Skull Beer Fest, produced by Beer Army, a craft brewery based in Jones County.

Jones, who rules during afternoon drive time at the popular ‘classic rock’ station, spurred festival ticket sales with his ‘Best Beer Brew Burp’ contest won by Mike Manley, seen above behind a plethora of aluminum cans. Manley won two tickets to the event, and he attended with his trusted sidekick and drinking buddy ‘Steve-O.’

“All I can say is that I am grateful to Rhyan Jones of WSFL,” said Manley, “and I sure am glad my photo is showing up on the front page of the County Compass and not on Page 5 where the mugshots are!”

Flora Moorman and Kerry Hanlon, seen above, stopped by the booth for Beer Army. In the brewery’s sales literature, founder Dustin Canestorp makes it clear that he sees specialty brews as an economic driver for the region.

“Our mission at Beer Army is to develop a craft beer scene and community in Eastern North Carolina that is second to none,” wrote Canestorp, in a slick festival program that featured information on the event’s 60-plus breweries offering a total lineup of 180 different varieties.

Among the best of the best was Black Radish, a delicious brew pulled from a tap by Crystal Phelps of Weeping Radish Farm in Grandy, on the state’s Outer Banks. The festival featured many bizarre and unusual attractions, but many gave Phelps the highest marks for her colorful abdominal tattoo – only part of which we are allowed to display in this newspaper.

Black Radish was truly a stellar brew. For more information, visit